Pies For Your Party…Really?

Pie Time - the final product, three days in the making.

Pie Time – the final product, three days in the making.

My friends know that I bake. Usually, that’s a good thing. Unless they want pie.

I readily admit that pie dough and I are not the best of dance partners. I tend to avoid making it, opting instead for graham cracker crusts or even leftover bread dough, pressed into the pie pan and baked blind. I’m a hero when it comes to the staff of life, but a coward when it comes to pie.

This weekend, I got a request for pie. Specifically, two of them; an apple and a cherry. The weekend includes an Indy 500 party (the reason for the pie request) a 5K race on Monday (the reason I won’t be eating pie on Sunday) and plenty of chores. Not exactly a restful state of mind to work pie dough.

I have plenty of cookbooks and food books for inspiration, so I turned to American Pie, Slices of Life (and Pies) from America’s Back Roads, by Pascale Le Draoulec. Born, raised and educated in France, Le Draoulec had no experience with pie until she decided to move from California to New York to accept a new job. She decided to drive cross-country, and find good pie, good pie bakers and explore America’s love affair with pie. The trip turned into a book filled with recipes and stories and stands as a reminder of why people still get up early, bake from scratch and share their secrets. Throughout the book, there are tips about working with pie dough. Everyone’s recipe varies (the fat element is butter, shortening, lard or a combination; the liquid can be milk, water or even club soda), but the constant advice is to be kind to the dough. Keep the ingredients cold, and work quickly but gently. Dough is treated as a living thing, and the prettiest filling in the world won’t hide ugly dough.

The pies are now done. I made the dough Friday and chilled it. Saturday was for preparing the fillings. I got up early to ensure the pies would bake and cool enough to transport today. I casually mentioned to The Husband, “So, if they are good, does this mean you want more pie in your life?”

He replied, “Oh, sure. At least one a week.”

I’ll let you know how that silly idea works out.




Filed under cooking, food

6 responses to “Pies For Your Party…Really?

  1. Do you remember the John Travolta movie, “Michael?” The best thing about that movie was the song about pie. I love that song. I love pie.

  2. Gramma

    I got tired of working so hard on pie dough a long time ago and borrowed my step-mother’s secret recipe for wonderful pie crust that never fails. She told me (in confidence, but since died more than a year ago, I can tell now)…buy an Already Ready pie crust in the refrigerator case. roll it out somewhat thinner than it comes in the package because if you don’t it’ll be thick and as tough as shoe leather. Works for me and people are forever telling me that the crust is “wonderful” and they wish they could make it from “scratch”…as if!

    • nancymn

      Cheating? You?????? :O

      • Gramma

        Yup. Pie dough is a PITA to make and another PITA to get just right in the pie plate. This works every time. Used to be only my step-mother knew my ugly secret. Since she died it was just me carrying this burden. Now the whole world knows! But I’m tellin’ ya…try it; you’ll like it.

  3. Gramma

    And one more thing: I’ve been known to cheat and use the Already Ready pie dough for pasties, even though pasty dough is somewhat “shorter” than pie dough. Sometimes, life is just too short to bother with the time-consuming stuff!

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